The controversial lawsuit involving four activists of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) will be settled considering the interests of Serzh Sargsyan and the authorities, says Sargis Gevorgyan, one of the four defendants in the case.
On March 21, the Cassation Court accepted the appeal of the defendants' lawyer, demanding to review the decision of a lower court which sentenced the four men to between two to six years in prison.
"I think that the postponement of the hearing is advantageous to to Serzh Sargsyan as the decision was taken on the last day. They had to postpone the trial until the end of post-election tensions and forthcoming municipal elections," Sargis Gevorgyan told A1+.
HAK activists Tigran Arakelyan, Artak Karapetyan, Sargis Gevorgyan, and Davit Kiramijyan are accused of disorderly conduct and violence against government representatives during an encounter with Yerevan police in August 2011. In July 2012, the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Norq-Marash administrative districts sentenced the four men to between two to six years in prison on charges of violent resistance or threat of violence against government authorities and hooliganism. Arakelyan received the longest prison sentence for what the Armenian police said was a key role in the incident. The three activists were later released, with only Tigran Arakelyan remaining in prison. All the four activists denied police claims that they attacked law-enforcement officers maintaining public order in the city center. They said they were beaten up and detained after the officers tried to arbitrarily search another man. On August 20, the defense filed an appeal based on substantive and procedural violations in the activists' case. On November 13, the Court of Appeal rejected the appeal.
in January 2013, the New York-based Human Rights Watch expressed serious concerns over the controversial prison sentences given to the four opposition activists.
"We are very concerned about the allegations of ill-treatment of the four defendants and the lack of an effective investigation into these allegations," said the organization.
Sargis Gevorgyan says their detention is not advantageous to the authorities as several international organizations have already given rough assessment to the case.